Review: Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

While browsing the library for a book to read (preferably a humorous one at that), I stumbled upon Justin Halpern’s Sh*t My Dad Says. I then proceeded to open up the light read on a random page to see if it’d capture my attention… And it succeeded in making me laugh out loud with this one passage:

On Bob Saget’s Demeanor While Hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos

“Remember that face. That’s the face of a man who hates himself.”

What follows is a book that delivers pretty much everything I’ve been seeking: laugh-out-loud funny anecdotes, family, cursing, and so much more.

Here are a couple more gems I’d like to share:

On How to Tell When a Workout Is Complete

“I just did an hour on the gym machine. I’m sweaty, and I have to shit. Where’s my fanny pack? This workout is over.”

On Chivalry

“Give your mother the front seat…. I don’t give a shit if she said you could have it, that’s what she’s supposed to do, and you’re supposed to say, ‘No, I insist.’ You think I’m gonna drive around with my wife in the backseat and a nine-year-old in the front? You’re a crazy son of a bitch.”

But the true key to fully enjoying this book was listening to it on audio (which is, by the way, only three hours long). The narrator, Sean Schemmel, does this hilarious deep voice that perfectly captures the anger, frustration, and love behind the dad’s words. This read wouldn’t have been as laugh-out-loud funny without the audio format for me. But I do have to note that Schemmel’s choice of using a high-pitched voice for the female characters was absurd and completely threw me out of the story, so I tried to tune that out as much as possible.

On another note, getting to read about Justin Halpern’s relationship with his dad, who’s a rather blunt individual, and sharing his quotes and quips, surprisingly evoked a wide range of reactions. From laughing at one section to being moved deeply by another, I was never short of experiencing numerous emotions throughout my reading experience.

One part that stuck out, in particular, was this breakfast shared with his father at Denny’s:

“Dad, can you please get to the point you’re trying to make? I don’t want to talk about this the whole breakfast with all these people around us,” I said, as I looked to my left and right, indicating that people were listening and that it was embarrassing for me.
He paused and looked around the restaurant, and then right at the college kids next to us, who quickly glanced away.
“You give a shit what all these people think, huh? Even though you never met a goddamned one of them,” he said.”

Sam Halpern really made me shift my whole view with just the one sentence: “You give a shit what all these people think, huh? Even though you never met a goddamned one of them,”

And on said though, that will no doubt be playing over and over in my head, I’ll end my review for this noteworthy book I’m beyond glad to have listened to. If you’re looking for a swift and comical read that’ll have you laughing out loud, Sh*t My Dad Says is the one.

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